Finally tackle your reading list with the Essential Speed Reading Bundle - now 87% off

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“I took a speed reading class and read War & Peace in twenty minutes. It’s about Russia.”

–Woody Allen


[quote=“Boing Boing Store, post:1, topic:79815”] “Understand the art of speed reading, and learn to read and comprehend up
to 3,700 times faster with this Essential Speed Reading Bundle”[/quote]


The evidence is clear: anything above 500-600 words per minute is improbable without losing comprehension.

I have to wonder if a speed reader wrote the ad copy claiming purchasers will “read and comprehend up to 3,700 times faster”? Times. That would mean I could go from reading 500 wpm to 1,850,000 wpm!!! W00t! But, to be fair, the copy does say “up to”, so perhaps the 3,700 times faster applies only to slower readers with more room for improvement? Well, still pretty impressive, since that means even a person who can only read 1 word a minute will improve to 3,700 words per minute!! Incredible!!! (And I really mean that, it really is incredible.)

On the other hand, I would like to read and comprehend 3,700 times faster… :-/


Name checks out.


I took a speed reading class and read this ad in .2 seconds. It’s a crappy ad.


I’m even skeptical of myself ("…and you are the easiest person to fool. " warned Richard Feynman"), so I did double check if my memory was right about speed reading claims of vastly increased speed and comprehension being questionable before posting…

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I see you and raise you the Evelyn Woodski Slow Reading Course.

The “one weird trick” is to take larger visual ‘bites’ so that sentences become more word-like, and words become more letter-like.

Hey, Strunk and White said that the paragraph should be the unit of composition, so anything written to that guideline can generally be parsed quite rapidly.

Of course none of this is helpful if your eyes are moving over the page but the reader remains unable to keep their mind on the subject. The most abject state of misery.

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Happy Mutants, you’re supposed to be savvy! So how did you fall for this snake oil?

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I’ve got a theory about boing boing store snake oil.

Selling out and providing space for snake oil salesmen is not a fun thing to do. It can make you lose sleep, mourning your lost “journalistic integrity”.

But if things are so obvious that people who fall for it only have themselves to blame, then the makers of boing boing are blameless, and can enjoy their sleep at night.

Of course, that’s just a theory until one of them confirms or denies it, and I don’t know if that would have any negative effects on their advertising contracts.

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Oh No, Ross and Carrie! did an episode on speed reading and came away with similar conclusions. There are some valuable and sound ideas about tuning your mind to read more efficiently, but comprehension almost inevitably becomes shallower, and it’s suited better to writing that is structured for it.


My theory is that Boing Boing Store ads are written by Tony Clifton.

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